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Occupational Health and Safety, Animal Welfare and Environmental Protection

Maternity Protection

General information

Pregnant women as well as new mothers and their babies enjoy special protection.

The provisions of the German Maternity Protection Act, the Mutterschutzgesetz (MuSchG), are designed to protect them from health risks and give women the opportunity to recover from childbirth and settle into their new routine as a mother.

Section 1 (2) of the Maternity Protection Act stipulates that the provisions of the Act apply to women who are engaging in an employment relationship within the meaning of Section 7 (1) Sozialgesetzbuch IV(social code, book IV, SGB IV)). The provisions of the Act apply to the following individuals, irrespective of whether they are engaging in such an employment relationship:

  1. Women undergoing in-company vocational training as well as female interns within the meaning of Section 26 Berufsbildungsgesetz (Vocational Training Act, BBiG),
  2. Women with disability who are employed at a sheltered workshop,
  3. Women who are working as development workers within the meaning of the Entwicklungshelfer-Gesetz (Development Workers Act, EhfG); however, Sections 18 to 22 do not apply to them,
  4. Women who are working as volunteers within the meaning of the Gesetz zur Förderung von Jugendfreiwilligendiensten (Youth Volunteer Services Act, JFDG) or the Bundesfreiwilligendienstgesetz (Federal Volunteer Service Act, BFDG),
  5. Women who are members of a religious association, deaconess or similar community and are working for that association, deaconess or community, either holding a post there or on a supply of staff contract (the provisions of the Act also apply to these women during periods of out-of-school training completed there),
  6. Women who are engaging in home work and women who have been accorded the same status as individuals engaging in home work in accordance with the provisions of Section 1 (1) and (2) Heimarbeitsgesetz (Home Work Act, HAG), provided that they are actively involved in the production of the items made; however, Sections 10 and 14 do not apply to them and Section 9 (1) to (5) applies to them mutatis mutandis ,
  7. Women who, due to their economic dependence, are considered employee-like persons; however, Sections 18, 19 (2) and 20 do not apply to them; and
  8. Female students, provided that their university or school prescribes where, when and how their training is provided, as well as female students who are undertaking a work placement that is a mandatory part of their degree programme or training; however, Sections 17 to 24 do not apply to them.

Special rules, namely the provisions of the Bayerische Urlaubs- und Mutterschutzverordnung (Bavarian Directive on Annual Leave and Maternity Protection for Civil Servants, BayUrlMV) as it appears in the publication thereof dated 28 November 2017 (Bayerisches Gesetz- und Verordnungsblatt [Bavarian Law and Ordinance Gazette, GVBI] no. 21, p. 543), apply to women with the employment status Beamtin .

To enjoy the special protection afforded by the Maternity Protection Act, expectant mothers must disclose their pregnancy to their employer or their contact person at their university or school .

Issues governed by the Maternity Protection Act include:

  • The duration of maternity leave,
  • Protection against dismissal,
  • Workplace design
  • Maternity allowance

I am pregnant - what happens next?

What will happen next depends on whether you are a staff member or a student/intern.


Staff members

Students attending courses at the University of Würzburg or interns undertaking a work placement at the University of Würzburg

(If you are undertaking a placement at an institution other than the University of Würzburg, please contact your placement employer.)

Other sources of information


Relevant laws and regulations